Sudan thanks Saudi for helping lift US sanctions

The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, including a trade embargo and blocking the government’s assets.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud called on Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir Friday night, congratulating him on the successful surgery he has undergone as well as the lifting of US sanctions on the Sudan.

For his part, the Sudanese leader expressed thanks and gratitude to the king for his fraternal sentiments and to the Saudi government for the efforts exerted in order to back lifting the sanctions imposed on the African country.

US moves to lift decades-old trade embargo against Sudan

The Obama administration took steps on Friday to lift a 20-year trade embargo against Sudan, unfreeze assets and remove financial sanctions in response to the east African nation’s cooperation in fighting ISIS and other groups.

The lifting of the sanctions, which date back to the Clinton administration, will however be delayed by 180 days to encourage Sudan to take further actions on improving human rights, resolving political divisions and military conflicts.

That leaves the final decision up to President-elect Donald Trump to implement the sanctions relief, a senior Obama administration official said.

“Sudan has long expressed a desire to get out from under sanctions, as well as other restrictions that the United States has imposed on Sudan going back 20 years,” the official said.

“Over the past two years we have looked for a way to engage with Sudan in a way we could overcome some of the lack of trust of the past,” the official added.

Trump’s transition team has been briefed on the move, the official said, adding that the measures do not affect Sudan’s label as a state sponsor of terrorism nor does it impact sanctions tied to Khartoum’s role in the Darfur conflict.

“We have briefed the transition team and provided information about this. We can’t speak to their intentions or what they intend to do next,” the official said.

The sanctions relief is expected to impact businesses that deal with agriculture, import-export services, transportation, technology and medical equipment, and oil, the official said.

Sudan’s foreign ministry welcomed the move, calling it an “important positive development in bilateral relations between Sudan and the United States.”

The ministry said it hoped further cooperation would allow Sudan to be removed from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism.

The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, including a trade embargo and blocking the government’s assets, for human rights violations and terrorism concerns. The United States layered on more sanctions in 2006 for what it said was complicity in the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region.


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